We’ve known for a long time that Facebook is an online force to be reckoned with. The social media giant has grown significantly over the past several years and evolved from Mark Zuckerberg’s college project into a global phenomenon. It has spawned countless imitators, but other sites cannot innovate quite like Facebook can. In October 2012, the site announced that one billion people were using the site at least once a month. According to figures released on Monday 24th August this year, that number has now reached an astounding one billion a day, meaning that one in seven people on the planet now use Facebook.
Facebook has become a central part of life for many people. From the minute we wake up, many of us check our smartphones to check our messages and see status updates from friends. Facebook rose in popularity at roughly the same time as devices such as smartphones, allowing for greater connectivity. With 1.49 billion active users and counting, it certainly isn’t out of the realms of possibility to suggest that the site could reach 2 billion daily users over the next few years.
The global spread of Facebook is impressive, and Zuckerberg has stated that he wants to help the world become more open and connected. However, whilst the USA and Europe have all but become addicted to Facebook, it has still yet to penetrate key markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Markets such as China and Russia could provide huge numbers of users thanks to their enormous populations, but Facebook will have to combat local competitors in order to reach these markets. Facebook’s own Internet.org project, which hopes to expand Internet technology into communities without it, will go a long way to helping Facebook secure even more users across the world.
Facebook continues to spread its reach into other areas. Its latest revelation, Facebook M, is designed to channel Microsoft’s Siri as a virtual assistant within its own Messenger application, combining human and artificial intelligence to complete tasks for users. It’s also testing a Twitter-like breaking news app and a competitor to Youtube that will help video creators make money from advertising around their clips, a move that will certainly please social media marketers. As it continues to grow, one thing’s for sure: it has already become our favourite social media platform.